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book: The Madman Theory (1966) by Jack Vance, writing as Ellery Queen

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 12, 2018

  Well, it was short. Five men go for a backpacking trek in General Grant National Park, California. A couple of days out, one of them has his head blown off by a double shotgun blast from the bushes. When the rest pluck up the courage to investigate, they find the shotgun has vanished — read more

snapshot: Proud Mary (2018)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 12, 2018

US / 89 minutes / color / Screen Gems Dir: Babak Najafi Pr: Tai Duncan, Mark Anthony Little, Paul Schiff Scr: John Stuart Newman, Christian Swegal, Steven Antin Story: John Stuart Newman, Christian Swegal Cine: Dan Laustsen Cast: Taraji P. Henson, Billy Brown, Jahi Di’Allo Winston, Danny Glover, Xan read more

book: Overture to Death (1939) by Ngaio Marsh

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 11, 2018

Just as amateur pianist Miss Campanula strikes the third chord of the overture to a new village play, a shot rings out and she slumps dead across the keys. Closer examination reveals the piano was boobytrapped: a cunning arrangement of pulleys within meant that, the first time someone pressed the & read more

book: Spinsters in Jeopardy (1953) by Ngaio Marsh

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 9, 2018

For once not a mystery from Marsh but a ripping yarn — a ripping yarn about cults, drug trafficking, muddled identities and general derring-do. There’s a mystery element in the tale, to be sure, but it very much takes the back seat in what’s otherwise a romp. The Yard’s Rode read more

Jasper Jones (2017)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 8, 2018

Australia / 108 minutes / color / Bunya, Porchlight, Screen Australia, ScreenWest, LotteryWest, Screen NSW, South West Development Commission Dir: Rachel Perkins Pr: Vincent Sheehan, David Jowsey Scr: Shaun Grant, Craig Silvey Story: Jasper Jones (2009) by Craig Silvey Cine: Mark Wareham Cast: Levi read more

book: Grave Mistake (1978) by Ngaio Marsh

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 6, 2018

A couple of days ago I was reading a critique of Marsh’s novel Last Ditch (1977) that pulled the book apart on a whole bunch of grounds, with most of which I agreed: it’s indeed pretty dire. But when the reviewer then said that all of Marsh’s last few books were “atrocious&# read more

reblog: Stream 48 Classic & Contemporary German Films Free Online: From Fritz Lang’s Metropolis to Margarethe von Trotta’s Hannah Arendt

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 5, 2018

The site Open Culture makes a practice of giving leads to bits of free culture around the intertubes. Their latest caught my eye. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve seen the German Expressionist classic The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. As soon as Robert Weine’s 1920 film came out, read more

snapshot: Exposed (2016)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 5, 2018

US / 102 minutes / color / Grindstone, Emmett Furla Oasis (EFO), Elevated, Fortitude, PalmStar, Company Films, Lionsgate Premiere Dir: Declan Dale (i.e., Gee Malik Linton) Pr: Robin Gurland, Gee Malik Linton, Keanu Reeves Scr: Gee Malik Linton Cine: Trevor Forrest Cast: Ana de Armas, Keanu Reeves, G read more

book: The House by the Lock (1899) by A.M. Williamson

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 2, 2018

Not so much a mystery, more of a thriller crossed with a howdunnit, all told in the expected rather florid late-Victorian prose that you either like or you don’t. Reviewers of the day sometimes described Alice Muriel Williamson — although her books were often published as collaborations read more

o/t: leisure reading during November

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 1, 2018

Again a reasonable number of books, some of which were longish. There was also an abandonment of a book at the page 265 mark — about halfway through — which book, as is my habit, I don’t note publicly (but if you buy me a drink somewhere I’ll tear my hair out about it in priv read more

Jack and the Beanstalk (1988 TVM)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Dec 1, 2018

US / 20 minutes (plus about three minutes’ ancillary material) / color / DIC, Alien Dir: Dan Riba Animation dir: Kazumi Fukushima Pr: Richard Raynis Scr: David Cohen, Roger S.H. Schulman Voice cast: Paul Fusco, Paulina Gillis (i.e., Tabitha St. Germain), Peggy Mahon, Thick Wilson, Dan Hennessey, Rob read more

book: Mrs. Murphy’s Underpants (1963) by Fredric Brown

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Nov 29, 2018

I admit it: aside from the fact that I’ve enjoyed Brown’s work before (in both of his main genres), it was the title that drew me to this one — that and some recent relevant badinage between myself and fellow Goodreadsers Col and Kathy. This is the seventh book in Brown’s se read more

book: The Front Seat Passenger (2010; trans 2014 Jane Aitken) by Pascal Garnier

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Nov 28, 2018

When Fabien’s wife Sylvie dies in a car crash, Fabien isn’t too devastated: it’s been a while since he and Sylvie last felt anything for each other beyond amiable but remote friendship. He’s horrified, though, to discover she had a passenger in the car with her who also died read more

o/t: 99 MGM movies free to view

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Nov 28, 2018

I just thought I’d pass on the news that YouTube and MGM have struck a deal to make scads of the studio’s movies free to view. You won’t find any classic noir in the bunch — at a glance, the oldest movies on the list are things like The Terminator and Rocky — but there& read more

snapshot: Murder in a Small Town (1999 TVM)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Nov 28, 2018

US / 92 minutes / color with some bw / A&E, Granada, Fred Berner, Crystal Sky Dir: Joyce Chopra Pr: Fred Berner, Craig McNeil, Steven Paul Scr: Gilbert Pearlman, Gene Wilder Cine: Bruce Surtees Cast: Gene Wilder, Mike Starr, Cherry Jones, Frances Conroy, Deirdre O’Connell, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, read more

book: The Black Angel (1943) by Cornell Woolrich

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Nov 27, 2018

This novel’s 1946 movie adaptation, The BLACK ANGEL dir Roy William Neill, is one of my favorite B-noirs; it offers what’s arguably Dan Duryea’s finest hour, and on top of that you have June Vincent, Peter Lorre, Broderick Crawford, Constance Dowling and Marion Martin. The story i read more

book: Death in Captivity (1952; vt The Danger Within) by Michael Gilbert

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Nov 27, 2018

I watched the splendid movie based on this novel a few days ago, Danger Within (1959), dir Don Chaffey and featuring a galaxy of British stars (all male); my discussion of it will be posted here on Noirish in January or February and, when it is, I’ll pop back here and add the link. Watching t read more

Angel of Death (2009)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Nov 24, 2018

vt Ed Brubaker’s Angel of Death US / 75 minutes / color / White Rock Lake Dir: Paul Etheredge Pr: John Norris, Paul Etheredge Scr: Ed Brubaker Cine: Carl Herse Cast: Zoë Bell, Jake Abel, Vail Bloom, Justin Huen, Doug Jones, Lucy Lawless, Brian Poth, John Serge, Ingrid Rogers, Pat Asanti, Ted Raimi, read more

book: Extraordinary Renditions (2010) by Andrew Ervin

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Nov 23, 2018

A mosaic novel comprising three loosely linked novellas, the first and the last centered on the performance of a new opera in Budapest and the central — and longest — being one of the best pieces of noir fiction I’ve read in a while. In that central novella the sense of the novel& read more

snapshot: Unlocked (2017)

Noirish Posted by John Grant on Nov 21, 2018

Czech Republic, Switzerland, UK, US / 98 minutes / color / Silver Reel, di B, Bloom, Sira, Lipsync Dir: Michael Apted Pr: Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Georgina Townsley, Erik Howsam, Claudia Bluemhuber Scr: Peter O’Brien Cine: George Richmond Cast: Noomi Rapace, Orlando Bloom, Toni Collette, John Malkovi read more